Nepal for the first time has started distributing licences to mountain guides in a bid to bring professionalism to mountain tourism
Nepal for the first time has started distributing licences to mountain guides in a bid to bring professionalism to mountain tourism. The first to receive the licence from the Department of Tourism is mountaineer Kami Rita Sherpa, who has scaled Mt Everest 24 times, which is a world record.
Mira Acharya, Director of Mountaineering Division of Department of Tourism, said the department was providing licences to guides to add professionalism to Nepali mountain tourism, according to The Himalayan Times.
The licence will have validity for five years.
As Sherpa was the first mountain guide to register his name, he became the first licence recipient.
The department is now in the process of approving licences of other applicants, Acharya was quoted by the newspaper.
"Over 150 applications have been received and the department is verifying them," she said, "The response from stakeholders is satisfactory too."
Continuing the legacy of mountaineering in the country, distribution of mountain guide licence can be considered as recognition from the government, she added.
The department had issued a notice on March 10 seeking eligible guides to submit their applications for the governmental licence.
There are different criteria set for the mountain guides to apply for the licence.
"To avoid random distribution of the mountain guide licence we have embraced the policy of prioritising skills and knowledge..For example, the rule states that guides who have received a recommendation from Nepal Mountaineering Association can obtain the licence. However, we will be checking other eligibility criteria too before issuing the licences."
She further said that the mountain guide licence will help to make the mountaineering sector more dignified as those without the government licence will not be allowed to accompany any climbing team as mountain guides.
They will be recognised only as high-altitude porters, she further added.
Nepal has already started receiving a surge of applications for climbing permits. Nepal will be re-opening Mt Everest and other mountains for climbers after the Himalayan republic had shut down all services due to COVID-19 last year in March.